Homobigot running for Durham City Council endorsed by black organization
It's primary day here, and it's a sad, but not surprising state of affairs that the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, a still-powerful, but aging and out-of-touch political machine, confirmed its decline with its primary-election endorsement of homophobe Victoria Peterson for City Council. From Bull City Rising:
Peterson's behavior at Council, where she frequently extends Council meetings by a half hour or more by signing up to talk on every topic, only to veer into favored subjects — some positive, like the need for more job-training for African-American males, but some darkly negative, particularly around Durham's Latino population, and insinuations interpreted by this observer to imply that Durham's black community is more deserving of jobs than its Hispanic community.
Peterson's also angered members of Durham's large gay community with less-than-progressive stands on issues of importance to that community, too, including reportedly opposing gay/lesbian-themed films being shown at the Carolina Theatre.
That's an understatement. Peterson, who also played a high-profile role in the Duke LaCrosse case (in case you're wondering, I don't blog about the topic since I work for Duke, so Google elsewhere if you want to read up on that matter) has a long trail of homophobic comments on the record. When Peterson ran in 2005, I pulled some of her more colorful bigoted quotes. Read after the jump.
I have a special place for Ms. Victoria Peterson in my heart because she is is a good representative of our local Af-AmTaliban, serving as president of Christians for Morality in Government. She's an ace homo-bigot that didn't make it out of the primary the last time she ran.
In 2003, she testified before the County Commissioners to urge them not to extend partnership benefits because: “Many of them are infected with diseases, and their lifestyles are very, very dangerous,” Peterson told the board. “Many don't live to be senior citizens. Who's going to pay this expense if they get sick in their gay lifestyle?” And here's another gem of her reasoning: “The gay community makes plenty of money. Just because of how you have sex, does not mean anyone is entitled to special rights.”
The measure passed, making Durham North Carolina's first county to enact domestic partner benefits. Chapel Hill and Carrboro also offer domestic-partner benefits to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. Peterson threatened to sue the county over the passage of the measure.
When a bill to add sexual orientation to state anti-discrimination was defeated in 2003, she said: “They could come to work dressed one day looking like a female and two weeks later looking like a male. We do not recognize people who actively engage in a gay lifestyle.”
My favorite Peterson quote came after she was roundly defeated in the 2003 primary. She just couldn't understand how, a good “Christian” conservative like herself came in next to last in a field of seven candidates in queer-laden, progressive Durham (from the article “Bell dominates mayor's race in Durham”):
Victoria Peterson, a community activist and frequent critic of the council, finished seventh, eliminated by the more than 2,700 votes she trailed Herndon.
“I am disappointed, to be honest,” said Peterson, who was not endorsed by any of the major groups. “No one told the people who went to the polls to vote for me to vote for me. Politics were played with who got endorsements and who didn't. The political groups aren't looking out for the community.”
I can't imagine that Peterson will make it far in the primary, but it's a sad reflection on the leadership of the Durham Committee that it endorsed her. They could have taken a pass and chose not to. Bull City Rising:
Does Peterson have a chance? Even with the Durham Committee's surprising endorsement choice, I don't think so, given her visible and often risible history in the political community here in town. If she squeaks in, it would be no higher than sixth place. It seems more likely that this endorsement will fail to stem a great defeat (as did the Committee's school board endorsements in that recent election), leading to a diminution of the Committee's power — or at least chairwoman Lavonia Allison's own lock on the organization.
There isn't likely to be a large turnout for the primary, sorry to say.
Kate and I actually saw Peterson at the NC Pride parade a couple of weekends ago. She was standing out on Ninth Street watching, I guess to take in all of the Bull City sodomites marching along. Wasn't she afraid she'd catch the gay?
Kate, holding a big rainbow flag, gave her the royal wave as we passed by.
Victoria Peterson and James Hartline should get together and commisserate about their pathetic bids to save, respectively, the “homosexual strongholds” of Durham and Hillcrest, San Diego.
Here is a good primer on the local political groups in my town.